Trading Dwight Howard is in the Magic’s Best Interest

According to a report by Chris Sheridan on, the Magic are about to start fielding offers for Dwight Howard:

[A league source says] Orlando is prepared to trade him sooner rather than later.

The source said that when Magic team president traveled to Michigan last weekend to speak in person with owner Rich DeVos, the conclusion was reached that not only was it time for Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith to go, but Howard, too.

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This situation parallels where the Tennessee Titans found themselves two seasons ago when Vince Young and Jeff Fisher were feuding. Young, who had been given a number of second chances (which technically makes them third and fourth chances) was released and Fisher, whose message had grown stale in the locker room, was fired.

While one side may be more to blame than the other, neither Howard nor Van Gundy are absolved from guilt for this season’s deterioration on and off the court. (It goes without saying that it’s no bueno when a team’s best player asks the general manager to fire the coach and the coach discloses this information to the public.) The Magic will never be able to get better value for Howard than they are now–contenders would want him on their team from the start because team basketball is a fluid gelling process amongst teammates.

One reasonable possibility involves a trade with the Lakers where the Magic would get Andrew Bynum back. Perhaps Howard and Bynum will benefit from a change of scenery. (Or, maybe one or both will never fulfill their potential.) While Orlando may not be too excited to take on another mercurial center with otherworldly physical skills, it could be their best chance at starting over without having to completely rebuild, suffering through a miserable season or two of praying to the NBA’s ping pong ball gods.


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